Austin Texas Family Law, Eminent Domain and Personal Injury Lawyer FAQ
Austin, Texas family law, eminent domain personal and injury lawyer frequently asked questions and answers
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How does divorce affect debt?
Your Final Decree of Divorce does not affect your creditor’s right to collect a debt from you. If both your names are on a debt such as a mortgage or a car loan and your spouse does not pay, the creditor can still come after you. Talk to your attorney about how to protect yourself from debts in divorce.
What if we disagree on how to divide our property and debt?
If you and your spouse disagree on how to divide your property and debt, the court will divide your community property and debt in a way that the judge deems to be “just and right.” This often means a 50/50 split, but not always. For the factors that can change this division, you should consult an attorney.
How do we divide personal items in our divorce?
A Final Divorce Decree awards each spouse the personal property in that spouse’s care, custody or control unless the court orders otherwise. If you and your spouse have already separated your personal belongings, like furniture and clothing, you may not need to include those items in the Final Decree of Divorce.
However, you should include property of significant value like businesses, cars, real estate, jewelry, and financial accounts.
Can we divide our property and debt by agreement?
The court will usually approve a division of assets and debts by agreement between the spouses. If you or your spouse have significant debts or assets such as a business, house, retirement account, or other financial accounts) it is vital to have a lawyer review your proposed division before you go to court to finish your case, since any mistake can be very costly to you.
May I be reimbursed for improvements to my spouse’s property?
If money earned during the marriage is used to improve the separate property of your spouse, you may be able to argue that you should get credit for a portion of the money spent on the improvements. If you face this issue in your Texas divorce you should talk to a lawyer.
What is separate property and separate debt in divorce?
Separate property in divorce includes the following items:
- property owned or claimed by s spouse before the marriage,
- property received as an inheritance or gift to a spouse during the marriage,
- money awarded to a spouse for personal injuries that occurred during the marriage (excluding money received for lost wages or exemplary damages), and
- capital gains and stock dividends on separate property investments of a spouse.
Unless you and your spouse agree, you must prove that something is separate property by “clear and convincing evidence.” If you cannot prove it, it is considered to be community property.
Separate debt is debt a spouse incurred before the marriage.
Texas divorce law says that separate property may not be divided. Once you have proved that something is separate property, the court will confirm it as your separate property.
If you have questions, it’s important to talk with a lawyer. Remember that there are exceptions to these rules.
What is community property and community debt?
Community property is all property you and your spouse have at the time of divorce except property that you can prove (or you and your spouse agree) is the separate property of one spouse.
Community property may include a business, real estate (a house or land), cars, retirement accounts, money, furniture and other things earned or bought by either spouse during your marriage. It does not matter whose name is on the title or which spouse’s earnings were used to buy it.
Community debt is debt you or your spouse incurred during the marriage.
Texas divorce law says that community property and debt should be divided when you get divorced in way that is “just and right.” This may or may not mean a 50/50 split.
If you have questions, it’s important to talk with a lawyer, especially since there are some exceptions to these rules.
What property and debt are divided in a divorce?
Community property and debt are divided in a divorce. Separate property and debt are not divided.
At the end of your case, a judge will divide your property and debt by signing a Final Decree of Divorce, which will list:
- the community property each spouse will keep or in some cases order community property (such as a house) to be sold and state how the proceeds should be split,
- the separate property (if any) of each spouse,
- the debts each spouse is ordered to pay.
The Final Decree of Divorce will also:
order that the community property retirement benefits of each spouse will be either:
- given 100% to the spouse who earned the benefits or
- divided between the spouses.
Note: The Final Decree of Divorce will divide your property and debt, but you may need to take additional steps after the divorce to transfer vehicle titles or real estate deeds.
How can I get help with my Texas eminent domain case?
For a free review of your Texas eminent domain case and learn how we can help protect your rights as a landowner, please click this link to contact the Todd Law Firm.